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North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat

North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat”

President Donald Trump started Wednesday morning by touting his biggest accomplishment in diplomacy with North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un: all but eliminating the threat of nuclear war. "We're hopeful that we can achieve that in the two and a half years".

By claiming that the North Korean nuclear threat has disappeared, Trump also risks weakening the USA negotiating position in talks on denuclearization that were mandated by the summit and will be led from the U.S. side by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The president would not elaborate on these hazy measures of time. US defense analysts have said Kim retains as many as 60 nuclear bombs and a range of missiles, including some he says can strike the U.S.

Both in South Korea and Japan, there are mixed views on the military exercises.

"The next step is for us to hold direct talks (with North Korea)", said a high-ranking official of the prime minister's office.

Trump on Tuesday pledged to suspend the USA and South Korea's "war games", or military drills.

At his press conference immediately after meeting Kim, Trump said sanctions would not be lifted until denuclearization reached "a certain point". The war games are very expensive, we pay for the majority of them.

Despite all the uncertainty and scepticism following the summit, the change of tone between Washington and Pyongyang is astonishing. "The V matters", he told reporters.

But there were worries, especially in Tokyo and Seoul, which both have huge USA military presences, about Mr Trump agreeing to halt United States military exercises with South Korea, which the North has long claimed were invasion preparations.

The Republican chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, said it was hard to assess what had happened at the summit.

The announcement caught not only allies Japan and South Korea off guard, it also took the U.S. military command in the South, U.S. Forces Korea, by surprise.

In agreeing to the summit, Mr Trump risked granting Kim his long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North's nuclear program.

A North Korea expert with inside knowledge of the Trump administration agreed Tuesday that Trump had taken us back from the brink of war.

He said the North Korean leader understands that "there will be in-depth verification" of nuclear commitments in any deal with the U.S.

Trump's chest-thumping tweets seemed reminiscent of the "Mission Accomplished" banner flown behind President George W. Bush in 2003 when he spoke aboard a Navy ship following the USA invasion of Iraq.

Abe has suggested recently he could talk with Kim directly in an attempt to resolve the abduction issue, though there has been no substantive movement thus far on potential talks.

"Mike, do they have a transcript?"

The Pentagon said Tuesday it was consulting with the White House and others, but was silent on whether the August exercise would proceed.



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